6.2 out of 10

Brewster

41.3976141621474 -73.614099002979
Great for
  • Schools
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
  • Pest Free
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Brewster, a likeable, walkable village."

Brewster is a lovely well-populated and popular village in the heart of the town of Southeast, NY that does have its own government, court system and train station independent of its parent town. Brewster is sometimes used synonymously with Southeast, however. This may be due to its good reputation and the abundance of offerings in the village itself.

Brewster has some pretty good eating establishments including Rraci Restaurant, which has received praise from the NY Times for its excellent Italian cuisine, Southeast Grille House, a more casual fine dining affair, Arch Restaurant which is a warm, gracious and beautifully decorated country home known for its out of this world soufflés, Aversano’s with its New York style lounge décor and delicious Italian fare, Jaipore Royal Indian Cusine has exceptional Indian cuisine and is located in a Brewster mansion, Fiesta Mexicana with its delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine, family-friendly Kelly’s Corner, the famed Eveready Diner which was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, the Red Rooster Drive-in with its excellent cheeseburgers and onion rings, Filia’s and Sciortinio’s Restaurant.

Brewster has Kohl’s, Marshall’s, Animal Kingdom USA, Home Depot, Design Ease and Michaels. The Lakeview Shopping Center in Brewster has a Value Village which is a huge combination of drugstore, discount store and variety store extraordinaire. Right behind that Value Village is Empire Cinemas. Also located in the shopping center is McDonald's, a car wash, a pizzeria, a dry cleaners, a hair salon, Beneficial Financial, Laundry, H&R Block, a bagel place, a video store, a Chinese restaurant, a sushi restaurant, a dentist, Brewster Athletic Club, some medical offices, R & D Flooring, Cingular Wireless and Putnam Federal Credit Union.

For groceries, Brewster has an A& P, DeCicco Food Market, Kobacker’s IGA, Brewster Superette, Latinos Unidos Deli and the Brewster Community Food Pantry. There is also a Hannaford Supermarket and a Shoprite in nearby Carmel.

The Brewster Library has a great collection and has many terrific programs and events including but not limited to DIY projects, a visiting therapy dog, chess classes, homework help, book discussion groups, author visits, tech classes and much more. The Southeast Museum is a great local resource where one can learn all about its namesake and the history of the region.

The village of Brewster holds a Veterans Day Parade, a Memorial Day Parade, a Good Friday Parade and celebrates Founders Day. Brewster also has a lovely farmer’s market every Wednesday and Saturday from June through November.

Parent town of Southeast has a well developed parks and recreation program with many terrific activities for young’uns, teens, adults and seniors. The area has many great parks, as well. Henry Wells Park is the site of a terrific summer day camp. It also has a spray park, picnic tables, playing fields and restrooms. Markel Memorial Park has a community pool, playing fields, a basketball court, several playgrounds, benches and restrooms. Southeast Town Park at pretty Tonetta Lake has a beach. Douglas J. Scolpino Park has a picnic area, a playground and ball fields. There is also Blackberry Hill Park District.

Carmel Bowl is three miles away in nearby Carmel, NY.

Brewster has its own train station and commute time to NYC is about one hour and twenty-two minutes making it a feasible option for working professionals and weekend visitors.

Brewster is pretty safe and the crime rate is relatively low.

Brewster students are a part of the Brewster Central School District which is excellent. There are also two private schools in the area: The Melrose School and Longview School.

The median household income is around $42,750.

The population of Brewster is approximately 2,162.
Pros
  • Metro-North access
  • Great school system
  • Walk to amenities
  • Cultural programs
Cons
  • Metro-North parking
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"A Village Struggling to Grow"

It's interesting that even amongst natives of Putnam County, like myself, there is a lot of confusion of what Brewster actually is and the name is frequently used interchangeably with Southeast. In reality, Brewster is the name of a smaller village in the town of Southeast. Brewster, in fact, only accounts for about a half of one square mile of the 32 square miles of Southeast. Even despite this huge discrepancy in size, Brewster is the most populated area of Southeast.

The small village of Brewster, with it's dense population, is the closest thing to urban that you'll encounter in Putnam County. You can walk just about everywhere within the borders of the village but, recently, many of the businesses that used to line Main Street have closed. Their still-vacant storefronts give the village a slightly eerie and unwelcoming feel.

For shopping, most people travel to the nearby shopping centers in other parts of Southeast or to Danbury, CT.

The Brewster School District has a good reputation and residents also have the option of sending their children to two well-known private schools called The Melrose School and Longview School.

There is a rich diversity in the demographics of Brewster and the few stores that are still open reflect that by appealing to certain cultures. There are also a few small parks in the Village of Brewster and the paved bike trail that stretches down into Westchester begins in Brewster.

One benefit of the village of Brewster is the ease of travel. While most things are within walking-distance, several major highways run nearby including I-84, I-684, Route 6 and Route 22. The majority of the traffic to and from Brewster is by means of the historic train station that offers service to New York City and many other parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

While the original architecture of the village has a classic charm, these buildings have not been properly maintained and many residents actually avoid the main drag in the center of the village. The outer sections of the town contain some very peaceful, safe neighborhoods that will still allow families to take advantage of the superior schools.
Pros
  • Metro-North access
  • Great school system
  • Walk to amenities
Cons
  • Limited Parking
  • Busy traffic
  • Empty Storefronts
  • Some parts are still run down
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Up and Coming"

Many roads lead to the one and a half square mile Village of Brewster, and to the 32-square mile Town of Southeast, in which it resides. There are Brewster exits off 84 and 684, and Rts 6 and 202 will lead you to Carmel and Mahopac. Route 22 winds its way through both. Brewster is an active little place with a population of about 2,000, and Southeast is residential, wooded, dotted with lakes and reservoirs, and has a population of about 18,000; however, everyone seems to call the entire area “Brewster,” no matter where you may be.

One can walk around Brewster Village and check out the stores, restaurants, and the Studio Art Around the Corner, a small exhibit area for local artists. There are historic sites, such as the Old Southeast Church, the Old Doansburg Schoolhouse, Old Town Hall, and the Walter Brewster House. The hard-working government and Recreation Department offers residents a quite a bit to do, with library programs and holiday parades.

Brewster and Southeast each have their own Metro-North train stop (a little under 90 minutes to Grand Central), and HARTransit provides bus service to and from Danbury and other destinations. While not essential if you live in the Village of Brewster, a car certainly makes life easier and the rest of Southeast more accessible.

Southeast is crisscrossed with biking and hiking trails, and the gorgeous Pauling Nature Reserve, which connects to the Appalachian Trail, is only 40 minutes away. A wonderful spot to visit here is the Farm and Wildlife Center at Green Chimneys, right on Doansburg Road. This school employs animal-assisted therapy to help children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning issues. Kids can be hands-on with the farm animals, including breeds from all over the world; but must be hands-off with the wildlife, as many of the birds and mammals are recovering from injury and will eventually be released back to the wild. Check out their website for events such as Little Folk Farm Day, Spring Gala, Birds of Prey Day, and Mini-Golf Benefit.

The Brewster Central School District consists of two elementary schools, an intermediate school (grades 4 and 5) a middle school (6-8) and a high school. There is also the private, 100-student Melrose School (pre-K-8) in the Milltown area of Brewster. All are well-rated.

Although Southeast is over 90% white, Brewster is more multicultural, due to a population of Guatemalan immigrants who began arriving several years ago to work as day laborers. This is becoming less of an issue, with integration arriving slowly but surely. Brewster and Southeast are far more affordable than Westchester County (median home price: $480,000), and easy access to shopping, both in Brewster and Danbury, sweeten the deal.
Pros
  • Metro-North access
  • Diversity in demographics
  • Cultural programs
  • Great school system
  • Walk to amenities
Cons
  • Busy traffic
  • Empty Storefronts
  • Metro-North parking
  • Some parts are still run down
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"The Perfect Day: The Brewster Way"

Brewster is an average residential community that is known for its train station, which makes it one of the hotspots for commuters in Putnam County. As a village within the town of Carmel, Brewster offers its own public library, as well as its own stellar school district. Once inhabited by the Algonquin tribe of the Wappingers Native Americans, it was later taken over by Dutch settlers to be used as farmland. It now houses 2,395 people.

While the area is fairly quiet, it’s pretty safe too, and local residents will have lots of beautiful views---especially if they live near the many reservoirs in the area. Housing prices are fairly low for the rest of Westchester (around $300,000 and @400,000 for starting prices), making this village a great relocating spot for middle-class residents who enjoy country living.

Though you may be surrounded by beautiful woodland, you’re still near major roads like Rt. 6 and Rt. 202, so you won’t be too far from greater civilization if you have a car to keep you mobile. In town, you’ll have easy access to the train from the Brewster (also known as “Southeast”) Train Station, which can take you to NYC in a little over an hour. Buses come to and from the train station, and there’s also a taxi service to get you to and from home in a jiffy.

Brewster School System offers and excellent education, including lots of extra-curricular activities. Almost all students will go onto receive higher education, and you can be sure your child will be well nurtured here. Brewster is also home to Green Chimneys, a theraputic day care center, and there is also the local YMCA and Brewster Community Outreach Center, which offers a wonderful youth outreach program. Your kids will also find a great community at the Public Library, where there is homework help, book groups and chess classes. Don’t forget to bring your kids to Tilly Foster Farm and Southeast Museum, where you can learn about the agricultural history of the area (and many more things as well, like the American Circus and the Tilly Foster Mine).

In town, you’ll be glad to find a Dunkin’ Donuts after a long hot day, where you can go in and get yourself a cold iced treat (and yummy donut, of course). Brewster also offers great clothing stores like Khol’s, Marshalls, Michael’s and an A&P for day-to-day grocery shopping needs.

After shopping, take your family out to dinner at the EverReady Diner or Applebees, where everyone will find something they love (and great burgers); then, play miniature golf at Red Rooster, where there’s 18 holes for hours of fun. On the other hand, if it’s just the two of you, Rracis Italian (Tuscany style authentic dishes) is the perfect place to be (and they’re a great place to have a party as well). Later, head over to beautiful Tonetta Lake and take a stroll along the beach while you both watch the sun set: the perfect end to a perfect day.
Pros
  • Metro-North access
  • Diversity in demographics
  • Cultural programs
  • Great school system
  • Walk to amenities
Cons
  • Busy traffic
  • Empty Storefronts
  • Metro-North parking
  • Some parts are still run down
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A Village on the Rise"

Brewster, the village, and Southeast, the town, are often referred to as one and the same. Brewster village is currently going through the very slow process of revitalization. In recent years, a large faction of day laborers has moved into the village, causing controversy among residents of both the village and the town. Many of the lovely older homes have been turned into apartments and house large numbers of people. At any given time empty storefronts exist along Main Street, though some recently opened businesses, including The Bowl Company and Trattoria II have become established and seem to be flourishing. A few businesses, including Bob’s Diner, the Brewster Flower Shop and the Eagle Eye Thrift Shop, are village institutions.

The village of Brewster, one of the few “walkable” areas in the county, has a great deal of potential. Many people in the county want to embrace Brewster, and Putnam County as a whole, as a great place for artists. In 2010, a referendum on issuing a bond to renovate the historic Old Town Hall failed; the money would have been used to make the building a center for performing arts. However, the lower level of the building has been transformed into the Studio Around the Corner, providing local artists with a space to exhibit their work. Art openings and other events are adding a spark of life to the village. The library, housed in a small brick building, also holds events for adults and children.

There is a Metro-North station in the village with metered parking and multiple lots for permit holders. During the summer through November, a small but well-stocked farmer’s market is open on Wednesdays and Saturday s.

Brewster is a village always looking to show its patriotism; flags fly from parking meters on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day. Parades are regular events and the annual Founder’s Day event always brings out lots of people. The First Baptist Church organizes a Ragamuffin Parade at Halloween, featuring “trunk or treating” for kids and a chance to put their costumes on full display. At Easter, they sponsor an egg hunt. Markel Park has a small playground, a kiddie pool, and baseball fields and basketball courts.

The village has the potential to be the center of activity for all of Southeast. At the moment homebuyers, especially those with children or planning families will be more likely prefer the larger area of Southeast as opposed to the village. However people seeking to live in an ethnically diverse area where you can walk to many stores may enjoy the village.
Pros
  • Walk to amenities
  • Metro-North access
  • Diversity in demographics
Cons
  • Some parts are still run down
  • Empty Storefronts
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
PAW
PAW Love that the village is walkable...a big plus
2yrs+
Add a comment...
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A community in the process of revitalization"

Brewster is a small village in the larger township of South East, although the larger area is often times referred to as Brewster as well. This village in Putnam County is slowly try to re-establish itself as a cultural center and among the ongoing efforts are main street revitalization and community pride events.

Brewster is close to Interstate 84, and the smaller Routes 6, 22 and 202. There is also a Metro North station and the train ride to Grand Central is around an hour and a half. Traffic can be an issue depending on the exact location and time of day.

Brewster is struggling with some issues related to illegal immigration and crowded housing. The need for labor in the affluent neighboring communities attracts many undocumented workers and Brewster has become one the places where there is affordable housing for these workers and their families. There is an on-going effort to police and moderate the impact of this pattern.
Brewster schools are decent and they are recognized as being particularly good about balancing arts education along with other academic initiatives. Brewster Ice Skating Rink is a popular destination for family entertainment. In the winter months people can make a short drive to Patterson to use to Thunder Ridge Ski area.

Many people come to Putnam County and Brewster because it is significantly more affordable than Westchester County and the property taxes and much lower. The money goes longer in Brewster and neighboring communities.

There is plenty of shopping and dining in Brewster. There are chain stores such as Kohl’s and independent shops as well. Among some of the good restaurants here are Jaipore, Southeast Grill House and Bob’s Diner.
Pros
  • Diversity in demographics
  • Metro-North access
Cons
  • Busy traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Access to New York City, cultural programs a plus."

Many people have varying opinions about Brewster, but after working in the village I have many good things to say about it. First and foremost, residents have made an attempt to revitalize Main Street through art and education programs, exhibits and performances, and its annual Founders Day celebration that attracts businesses, organizations, and other vendors to its street, helping to create an aura of community celebration. A referendum in November 2011 helped save and fund the Brewster Public Library, and a recent push by a local arts organization helped establish a multi-use art gallery/performance space in the Old Town Hall. Putnam County lacks a cohesive community center, and Brewster has definitely stepped into to provide programs to its residents. The Southeast Museum serves as the village's cultural hub with an entire floor dedicated to Brewster's history and provides educational programs for kids on the weekend. This theme of education carries over to Brewster's public school system, which is known for its excellent academics, athletics and music programs.

People can access Brewster via Interstates 84 and 684, and a Metro-North station makes it easy to access the city for a weekend trip. It's squished in between Route 22, which carries most of Brewster's commercial business, and Routes 6 and 52, which leads to Southeast, Carmel and Mahopac. If you're looking to go shopping, you should head over to Independence Way, which holds a Michaels, Kohls, DeCicco's, Home Depot, etc. The North County Trailway begins in Brewster which is a favorite amongst walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists. It's especially beautiful in the summer as the Croton Reservoir is scenic and calming.

For a long time, migrant workers were a bone of contention with local politicians who tried to use their presence as a backdrop to their political platforms. Since most these public officials are no longer in office, tensions have dramatically decreased within the village. Residents have since transformed Brewster into a cultural center, with many different programs and events occurring on the weekends. The village serves as the face of a great residential community, which are set upon hilly farmland.
Pros
  • Great school system
  • Metro-North access
  • Cultural programs
Cons
  • Busy traffic
  • Metro-North parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students

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